A Lenten Word: 1 Peter 4:7b-8

Good counsel can be hard to swallow. Toward the end of a section written for early Christians under pressure, we read two useful bits of advice from an apostle who is certain “the end is near.” What end is that? The return of Christ, or the end of a period of persecution? Does it fit today? It strikes me as good advice for anyone during Lent:

(T)herefore be serious
and discipline yourselves
for the sake of your prayers.
Above all, maintain constant love for one another,
for love covers a multitude of sins..

It is indeed good not to take lightly any aspect of the gift of faith. We Christians are given many tools from which to choose. Regardless of the types of prayer we favor, the argument here is to be diligent about it. No better time than the present, especially if the present is Lent.

And notice love. Love is not so much a feeling, but an act of the will. Maintaining something with constancy is definitely hard work. Those beloved to us know we love them, don’t they? I suspect the New Testament is right to remind us that much is needed: hospitality, service, swallowing our complaints and grievances, using whatever gifts we have to help others.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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